When Clash is patched through to Sody she is positively glowing. Well, wouldn’t you be? After an enforced hiatus caused by label drama – farewell, major label machine; hello, hard-won independence – she’s back, releasing the music she loves and communicating to fans directly. Iridescent pop that is filtered through her over-sharing lens, new EP ‘Star Potential’ might well be the best thing she’s ever done.
“It feels so nice to have music out again, that I love,” she gasps. “I wrote many of these songs in 2021… so although it’s new, I feel like this was written a long time ago.”
Indeed, there’s a pandemic-sized gap in Sody’s discography. Her excellent 2020 EP ‘I’m Sorry, I’m Not Sorry’ was bold, earnest, and deeply infectious, marking her out as a vivid voice in the UK pop landscape. Yet she needed to change, and after gaining her independence Sody spent time getting the right people around her, the right voices who truly cared about the music she was making.
“I just wanted to be sure that the next thing I put out was exactly me,” she reflects. “I spent time putting the right team around me, and that’s not easy. Although it’s taken a while, I’m glad I’m releasing it this way – because this is exactly who I am.”
Indeed, the time spent is hardly wasted – it’s simply reinforced his deeply songwritig impacts on her, and how keenly she feels the work of her new EP. “The beauty of music is that songs evolve,” she says. “I relate to my music in a different way than I did two years ago, say. Even two years after writing them, I still feel so connected to these songs.”
“Each song goes on its own journey,” she adds. “Some of them start of out so small and so little, before you begin adding the production. But each one represents me.”
The title ‘Star Potential’ is something to be taken literally – it’s a phrase Sody has heard many times, but now she’s empowered herself to bring it all to fruition. To her, the title “sums the whole thing up. That’s what all the songs are about.”
“When I listen to my earlier songs I think, oh my God I sound like a little baby! This new record sounds like me as a grown adult. I love those earlier songs, but I sound so different. It’s scary how much my voice has developed.”
“I’ve learned so much,” she says, “and that’s helped me so much. As I’ve grown in my personal life, that’s enabled me to grow in my life as an artist. Now, when I go to the studio for a writing session, I feel like I’ve grown. I’m perfecting my craft.”
From major label boardrooms to all-star sessions, Sody has peered behind fame’s curtain – and decided she’d rather have something with a little more connection, actually. “I’ve been through a lot in my career,” she reflects, “but I wouldn’t change anything. It’s made me the person I am now. Win some, lose some!”
Out now, she toasted the release with an intimate launch show in London. Fans have immediately fallen for the material’s profound honesty – take EP highlight ‘Imposter Syndrome’. “I think it’s natural to feel Imposter Sydrome… especially in the creative industries. You do these gigs, you meet fans, you sell merch, and then you go home to your mum’s house – eating cheesy pasta! You end up thinking… is this real? And you keep wanting to do more. After leaving my record label I felt empowered, and really excited about being an independent artist again.”
“I mean, you still get those thoughts of: am I good enough? You compare yourself to other people. But I’ve learned to voice that, and speak to my peers.”
Indeed, it turns out there’s a pop comfort network emerging in British music. Sody is a key part of this nexus, with the likes of Mae Muller, Rachel Chinouriri, and Dylan stepping in as a kind of Avengers Assemble for relatable pop queens. “They’re some of my best friends,” she beams. “We’ve all been through the same things.”
There isn’t a secret WhatsApp group – although there should be… in fact, the group regularly host dinner nights and use those spaces to vent about the industry (and more besides). “She hasn’t done one for a while, but Dylan used to host these pasta bake nights. We’d make these pasta bakes and the girls would come over! We should do it again. Me, Mae, and Rachel went for a Sunday roast at the weekend, actually. It’s nice – we don’t just talk about music, we can relate to each other.”
“It can be tough… for some people – the outside looking in – the music industry can be really glamorous. But it’s tough. And it’s nice to have that network.”
A key area for Sody is the studio. By now, she’s taken part in hundreds of sessions, and with that growing experience she knows what she wants to get out of the process. “The main thing to be a good collaborator is to listen. I’ve done so many sessions, but my favourite sessions are when the person is there, listening to me chat absolute rubbish… almost like a therapy session. And they take a small percentage of it, and make a song about it. It feels amazing to be heard. That’s when it feels more honest and personal.”
Clash can’t help but cite her track with Cavetown – could there be more in the works? “I would definitely do something with Robin! I’m so happy we did that.”
“I’m just really really excited for the future now. I’m going to keep releasing music. It’ll be like: Sody please.. can you stop?!” she chuckles. “I’ve got to this point where there’s so much in the bank, and I feel so inspired. It’s nice to take people on this journey with me.”
All journeys have an end point, Clash points out. So, are we talking… a debut album?
Sody laughs: “I mean… I’d love to put out The Debut Album! It’ll be a long body of work. But the pressure of a debut album…? I need to make sure I’m ready to do that. You can only release your debut once! I want to try a few more things, and then I’ll be ready.”
‘Star Potential’ EP is out now.
Words: Robin Murray
Inset Photography: Jack Alexander
Styling: Lauren Croft
Makeup: Georgia Hope
Styling Assistants: Yazmin Johnson and Katia Nguyen